In 1954, Abraham Maslow posited that all people are driven to fulfil a basic set of human needs.
Essentially, you start from your most basic needs (at the bottom of the hierarchy) and work up. Only when you have satisfied your biological needs can you think about your safety. And not until you feel safe enough, do you start wanting friends and family. Then you look for the respect of others, and finally, personal development.
It’s a kind of life plan; how you get from nowhere to somewhere
And as we’ve grown more prosperous, others have added additional nuances to the hierarchy:
- Adding psychological needs at the same basic level as physical needs.
- Adding levels of cognitive and aesthetic needs between esteem and self-actualisation.
- Topping the pyramid with transcendence.
It’s a little interesting that we feel the need to catalogue stages of life isn’t it?
Anyway, I mentioned a while back that I was reworking my business plan, and DB linked the ideas for me, and we came up with a Hierarchy of Needs for writers.
And just like Maslow’s, it’s a plan to get from nowhere, to success.
But, with a little thought, you can create hierarchical plans for almost everything. (It might actually be everything, but I don’t have time to work them all out.)
Like these ones for diet and exercise (bearing in mind I’m not an expert in either field).
And you could make them up for New Year’s (or any other) Resolutions. Like this one for quitting smoking.
These hierarchies aren’t very scientific, I’ve just thrown them together to illustrate the principle for you. But they make something complex seem a little simpler don’t you think?
Do you have a complex goal that might benefit from a hierarchy of needs approach?